Mikael Bauer – Associated Press/USA Today, 06/07/2012
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – The list of Amazon bird species facing danger of extinction has risen sharply because their rainforest habitat is being slashed to make room for cattle ranching and agriculture, a conservationist group said Thursday.
BirdLife International said that globally, 1,331 types of birds, or 13 percent of the world’s 10,064 total bird species, were listed as at risk on this year’s Red List of Threatened Species issued by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. That’s up from the 1,253 species classified as threatened on last year’s list.
The biggest jump came in the Amazon, where 100 Amazon avian species are now on the Red List, three of them in the highest-risk, “critically endangered” category. Only 10 were listed last year. The sudden jump is due to new models of future deforestation, which predicted accelerating destruction over the coming decade.